Undated photo of Jeremiah Barnum (credit: Department Of Corrections)

Written by Brian Maass
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned the man shot and killed Thursday night by Englewood Police was Jeremiah Barnum, a white supremacist leader who was convicted in 1999 of murdering a West African immigrant in Denver in a shocking hate crime.

“He went there to engage the officers. He wasn’t shopping at Walgreens,” said Englewood Police Chief John Collins of the Thursday shooting. “As soon as I heard it,
it rang true for me. This does not surprise me whatsoever. They’re all bad actors.”

He said he remembered Barnum’s involvement in the 1997 muder of Oumar Dia.

He said Barnum and other white supremacist gang members are “intent on violence.”

RELATED: Englewood Officers On Leave After Fatal Shooting

Jeremiah Barnum, 38, had been released from prison Nov. 30, 2011, after his most recent stay. Law enforcement authorities had been warned to be on the lookout for Barnum, who they believed was intent on inflicting violence against law enforcement officers.

Englewood police say the man they shot and killed Thursday night appeared to be reaching for a gun when confronted by officers.

An image of the scene of the shooting Thursday night (credit: CBS)

A Denver jury convicted Barnum in the 1997 murder of Oumar Dia in downtown Denver. Dia, a 38-year-old bellhop at a downtown hotel, was waiting at a bus stop at 17th and Welton when Barnum and an accomplice, Nathan Thill, approached him and shot him dead.

Thill is serving a life term for the Dia murder.

Barnum later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was imprisoned for the Dia case from 2002 until he was released on parole in 2009, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections. But he was arrested again in April 2011 on a drug charge and returned to prison for five months until he was released last November.

Prosecutors said Barnum and Thill attacked Dia due to their racist beliefs. While Thill was thought to be the actual shooter, Barnum was convicted on four counts. Dia had a wife and three children in Africa. The attack also left a woman, Jeannie Van Velkinburgh, paralyzed.

Sources tell CBS4 that while in prison, Barnum was a high ranking member of a violent, white supremacist gang called the “211 gang.” Since his release, Barnum had been contacted at least twice by Denver metro area law enforcement.

Englewood police chief Collins said Barnum had been living in Englewood.

“He kept a low profile. He flew below the radar pretty much,” Collins said.

Officers are being warned today to be on guard, that other white supremacists connected to Barnum are unhappy with his death Thursday night and might be inclined to initiate revenge attacks against police.

CBS4 Video Archive Feature

Watch a 30 minute special produced by CBS4 about the aftermath of the 1997 murder. A CBS4 crew traveled to West Africa and to Oumar Dia’s homeland. See in the special how Dia’s life in Denver meant so much to people around the world: Oumar Dia’s Legacy.

Comments (34)
  1. Chad says:

    Good riddance you POS. Just wish I had pulled the trigger.

    1. Doug says:

      what on ur cap gun?

  2. Anne says:

    Why was this idiot out of jail, why won’t the justice system keep these losers in jai where they belong? Lemmie guess, his Mommy has money.

    1. Doug says:

      you dont know anything about what ur talking about yuppy

      1. luis lopez says:

        Sure we all know what we are talking about !! this garbage needs to off OUR streets !!

    2. Panther says:

      That’s easy! He killed a African man..duh…untill America makes it illegal for white supremist groups to exist..don’t ever talk about black gangs….he’s not an idiot..he’s probabaly a christian who belongs to the tea party…whtcha wanta bet?…I’m sorry he’s dead (smile)……

  3. B. Dover says:

    They need to round up all these tough and “righteous” dudes and send them over to do their thing in Somalia.

  4. skycaptain58 says:

    i dont see why they cant just deport these kinds of people never to return to the united states again..maybe this guy they could have deported him to africa!

    1. Police Sgt. says:

      While I think “deportation” is a great idea, that concept is not working very well at all with all those crossing our borders illegally. Prison didn’t work either. Bottom line? Good guys won, bad guy paid the price. Oorah!

      1. Charles says:

        Your a cop keep your feelings to your self are you the one to kill him

  5. JT says:

    So the skinheads want some payback, huh? Surprised they have the time, what with molesting their own sisters. Let’s hope they come out to dance and a few more of ’em get buckshot shampoos. In fact, send ’em my way, I have a new scope I need to sight in!

  6. Sharpshooter says:

    That’s a good Nazi…..good and DEAD!

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you Engelwood Police for getting rid of this murderous racist!
    “Show no pity.” “Life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot” Deuteronomy 19:21

  8. person says:

    no one knows the truth about how cops kill people and get away with it, in this case there using a ten year old mistake as an excuse

  9. Charles says:

    How Very TRUE!! Thank you for taking a stand…he was my stepson! He was a good man and loved his family! Trying to get his life in order and the cops put a hit out on him!!!

    1. Threed says:

      Charles, you’re an idiot….just like Jeremiah.

    2. Justice says:

      oh so his being involved in murder was ok? But the cops killing him was wrong. Well step right up idiot guess the apple didnt fall to far from the tree even if you are a step father. Guess his father was smarter and left the trash by the curb huh.

    3. Steven says:

      I don’t know that he was a good man, but you are right that police have been known to do that. Unfortunately…
      I’m sure Oumar Dia was a good man though!

  10. Mark says:

    Was there more to Jeremiah Barnum? Charles I would love to talk to you.. please contact me confidentially at https://denver.cbslocal.com/news-tips/

  11. Hannah says:

    Great way to find out how my dad died, AWESOME

  12. Dawn says:

    The cops do kill and get away with it and they did again on thursday night. Jeremiah served his time and he was just trying to live a normal life. He was harrassed and threatened by police on a regular basis. This was am execution. You should not always judge by what you hear in the papers, most of it is untrue, and think about if it was your family member.

    1. Charles says:

      I totally agree Dawn Thank you for standing your ground That was my stepson just trying to get his life back in order

    2. 2pacalypse says:

      dude was sitting at a BUS STOP when he got shot. what if HE was your family member? he was not on private property when he was killed, he was not shot by a professional who thought he was in danger,
      he was killed by a white supremacist who knew the consequence before he got involved. however involved he was, well I’m sure he’s a real nice guy and turned himself in immediately after he did it lol but still the guy he killed was at a bus stop! what if he was your family member? waiting for a bus.
      had this article read “white supremacist targeted by cops upon being released shot while waiting for the bus” sure i’d feel bad for the guy. who knows maybe he was just raised by white supremacists, ignorance is a disease as well as a choice, sure. but taking another persons life automatically means someone is going to be mad at you, someone has hate for you. I won’t front I have killers in my family. I also have a brother who was shot in the head over drugs.
      those quick to judge get judged quickly and in the end………………….
      only god can judge me

  13. chuck says:

    Served his time and did not learn a thing. Driving around in a stolen vehicle and carrying a hand gun. He got his just reward. Maybe some of his victims can sleep better at night. Nice job EPD!

    1. Steven says:

      I don’t think he was driving in a stolen vehicle. I think he pulled up to the scene of someone else driving one. Anyway, I’m sure that we’re not getting the entire story here. Not saying he was a good person, but I am sure we’re being lied to somehow.

      1. Charles says:

        yes we are being lied too

  14. TASHA says:

    1) This guy was racist, judging people, hating people based on something trivial like skin color
    2) He helped KILL a man who had children, those children will never see their father again
    3) He helped paralyze a woman who later killed herself as a result

    My opinion, this is KARMA. And why was this guy pulling up to Walgreens harassing cops, while carrying a gun? He was an idiot, that’s why.

    To those of you defending him, that’s sick! How can you defend a murderer, hate monger, and menace to society????



    1. Steven says:

      Jeannie killed herself? I didn’t know about that! Where did you hear about that from? When did she do that? If she did, RIP Jeannie Van Velkinburgh…

      1. Yah says:

        Denver post reported that she killed herself

  15. Ricky says:

    A big “Thank you ” to those fine police officers who did society a favor.

  16. Mitch says:

    so they killed a unarmed man in a car that wasnt stolen what law did he break to get shot

    1. Charles says:

      Guilt by association If you have tattoos and shave your head your tagged

  17. ATL says:

    I hope the cop that killed this man gets the same as a pay back.Cops with to much power is dangerous.

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